I'm starting the fourth and final week of my summer hiatus. I'm in the mood to laugh, and to read and write. It doesn't get more basic than that.
This past weekend, I went to our local library and checked out several books. I noticed that I was drawn to stories and humor, including Marlo Thomas' Growing Up Laughing and David Sedaris' dark humored, Squirrel Seeking Chipmunk. Other books I picked for the title, books like "How Did You Get This Number" and "When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead."
This is different from the business books I usually read. Before starting my hiatus, I had ordered a book about sales, thinking that one can always get better. It arrived last week and when I opened it, the title, Spin Selling, was about as appealing as our cat's litter box. Turds coated in something mildly acceptable. I'm sure it will sound better once I get back to work. I put it with a stack of business books to read...someday.
A friend told me recently that if he could, he would take a year just to write code. He started out as programmer but quickly moved into being an entrepreneur. He's now on his sixth startup. My friend talked about how software programming is meditative, an activity in which he could lose himself in. And at the end, there's the satisfaction of creating something from nothing.
Writing does the same for me. Someone recently wrote to say that he had read my post about hitting the wall and admired how brave I am. Honestly, the best way I know to "get over" something is to go deeper into the experience and express what "it" is. So bravery has little to do with writing about emotional experiences and more to do with a cheap form of therapy, one where I get to pick the time and place and where the doctor is always in.
I'm surprised how long it has taken me to unwind and find my rhythm, in a new place. Things feel very different than even two weeks ago, when I was working on clearing out clutter (including preparing for a garage sale) and last week, when I was dealing with the chaos of a flooded car. I still have goals for my time off, but things are more fluid. I'm much more content this week to shape the day based on how I feel, rather than what I want to accomplish. In fact, I'm taking the advice of a dear coaching friend of mine, who said to me:
"Follow only what has heart and meaning. Trust the process."
Photo by CarbonNYC
While she said this in the context of my time off, I think this is probably good advice for life in general. The engineer in me will naturally gravitate back to "doing what needs to be done." But for now, I'm taking a cue from my cat on a hot summer day. He is content to hang out in our backyard, take an occasional stroll to look for mice, and roll around on the patio, with an eye towards napping.